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Program seeks to provide presents to area seniors in need

Published On: Nov 27 2013 06:10:46 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 28 2013 08:01:41 AM EST

While making out your Christmas gift list, you may want to add one more name.


While making out your Christmas gift list, you may want to add one more name.

Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co.-based Home Instead Senior Care is hoping people will make it a holly, jolly Christmas for some seniors in need.

The "Be Santa to a Senior" program hopes to provide gifts to roughly 300 local seniors in need.


Mary Ann Villanti, with Home Instead, said the items on the tags are things the seniors would otherwise do without.

Home Instead has trees at Boscov’s, Radcliff’s Great Valu store in Longswamp Twp., Berks Co., Silver Shears Hair Salon and Eric J. Loch Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, both in Allentown.

"It's pretty overwhelming. I am really amazed by the customer response," said Alex Miller, assistant manager of the Boscov's store at the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co.

Even so, a lot of tags still hang on the trees.

Playing Santa to a senior is easy. All you have to do is grab a tag, pick out the items, pay and take it to customer service.

The Lehigh County Department of Aging and Adult Services provides the names for the tags.

Judith Stanczak said the program is more than a gift to some seniors.

"It gives them a sense of value and importance that people do still care and respect the older adults in our community," said Stanczak.

"We give them the gift and they will say, 'Oh my goodness, they haven't received a present in 5 years.' Many times they will get  teary-eyed," said Villanti.

The deadline to be a Santa to a Senior is December 9th.